How Much Do NHL Coaches Make 2024 : A Impactfully Guide



how much do nhl coaches make

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Have you ever been captivated by the intense strategy and intricate plays unfolding in an NHL game, resulting in an unmistakable goal? Well, the masterminds behind those thirst-quenching victories are none other than the hardworking, tirelessly strategizing NHL coaches. They ever wondered what these tacticians earn for orchestrating the plays and leading their teams to glory? In this article, we dive headfirst into the earnings of an NHL coach, shedding light on what their financial scorecards look like. 

“Being an NHL coach isn’t just about the love for the game. It’s about strategy, leadership, and deriving victorious outcomes. And yes, it’s also about earning a remarkable income.”

So, how much do NHL coaches make? The answer might surprise you. Here’s a comprehensive guide detailing the earnings of these remarkable individuals. Buckle up because we’re about to take you on a thrilling financial ride across the icy rinks of the National Hockey League.

Jumping right into the thick of it, let’s set the stage with NHL head coaches. These ice-bound leaders can command salaries between $1M and $6M, with the average paycheque falling between $2M and $2.5M. That’s substantial, wouldn’t you agree? 

How Much Do NHL Coaches Make?

On an intriguing note, as the 2022-23 season wound down, Todd McLellan of the Los Angeles Kings emerged as the top-earning coach in the NHL, with an astounding $5M per season. McLellan isn’t the only one raking in the big bucks, though. A look at the salary leaderboard puts Peter Laviolette of the Washington Capitals right behind him, with $4.9M, followed by Bruce Cassidy of the Las Vegas Golden Knights at $4.5M, and so on. 

Taking a sidestep for a moment, let’s delve into the somewhat less glamorous but still essential world of assistant hockey coaches. They can earn above six figures while steadily amassing the experience and knowledge they need to ascend to head coach positions. It’s an essential stepping stone—the proving grounds, if you will.

In contrast, if we cast our gaze to the AHL, a typical head coach there earns between $200,000 and $225,000 per season. Interesting, don’t you think? Even more so when you find out that college hockey coaches often make more on average than their AHL and CHL counterparts. 

Before we wrap this up, let’s address the elephant in the room – contracts. Coaches sign guaranteed agreements, with the heftiest deal ever inked being an 8-year, $50 million contract for Mike Babcock by the Toronto Maple Leaf’s in 2015. It’s critical to note, however, that unlike player salaries, which are public, coach salaries often remain under wraps. Also, unlike the players, they don’t have a union representation, and their earnings don’t fall under the team’s salary cap. Emergencies might require compensation, for instance, when the coach is still under contract with a different team. 

how much do nhl coaches make

How do NHL coach salaries compare to other sports?

To truly appreciate the earnings capacity of an NHL coach, it’s helpful to paint a comparative picture with coaches in other hockey leagues. For instance, the remuneration of an average college hockey coach is often seen to exceed the compensation of coaches in the AHL and CHL. However, stand on the bench of an NHL game, and you’re looking at a significant leap in pay. Indeed, annual salaries for NHL head coaches commonly range from $1 million to $6 million, with the median wage ballparked between $2 million and $2.5 million. 

But not every coach has reached the pinnacle yet. Biding their time on the way to the top are the assistant coaches of the NHL, who, every season, take home at least six figures in earnings. These assistant coaching roles are perfect stepping stones, offering critical experience and hockey nous that is often required to make that final step up to a head coaching role. 

Who is the highest-paid coach in the NHL?

  • It’s a well-known secret in the hockey world that Todd McLellan of the Los Angeles Kings currently holds the title as the highest-paid coach in the NHL, commanding a cool $5M per season.
  • Other high-earning coaches include Peter Laviolette of the Washington Capital at $4.9M, Bruce Cassidy of the Las Vegas Golden Knights at $4.5M, and Peter DeBoer of the Dallas Stars, bringing in $4.25M a year.
  • At the lower end of the pay scale, we see coaches like Martin St Louis of the Montreal Canadiens, who makes a respectable $3M annually.
  • This wide range of coach salaries in NHL demonstrates the value different teams place on their coach’s skillset and leadership abilities.
  • Interestingly, the salary of an NHL coach does not count toward the team’s salary cap, unlike their players’ salaries. This allows franchisees greater flexibility in hiring top talent for their coaching roles.
  • NHL coaching contracts are guaranteed, which means that if a coach is under contract and gets fired or leaves, compensation may be required. This financial assurance provides a further level of career security for coaches in a highly competitive industry.

What is the average salary of an NBA coach?

Now, you may be looking at the monstrous contracts pro athletes sign, wondering, ‘How does the income of the pros behind the scenes stack up?’ Specifically, you’re thinking about the financial snaps of those leading the players from the bench, the NHL coaches. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place! Let’s delve more into how much an NHL coach can expect to make in a year. 

NHL coaches – the tactful strategists every hockey team relies upon. Their salaries, however, often remain undisclosed, making it a subject full of intrigue and speculation. But don’t worry, we’re here to give you an insight! 

That’s quite the range right? The salary depends on numerous factors, like the team’s size and location, the coach’s experience and reputation, and the team’s success under the coach’s leadership. The highest-earning coaches are usually those who pilot the teams in major hockey markets and have a track record of taking their teams to the playoffs consistently. 

Experienced and successful coaches in monarch hockey cities like Toronto, Montreal, or New York can fetch the upper end of the salary scale. Even though the coaches’ salaries often go unnoticed compared to the players, the importance of a good coach remains indispensable. After all, strategy and leadership can make all the difference in a nail-biting match.

How much does the Oilers coach make?

When it comes to the world of professional hockey, the NHL coaches undoubtedly play a critical role in shaping the course of the game. Naturally, the hotter the competition gets, the higher the compensation for these real-life strategists. So, how much do NHL coaches make? Dive into the exciting world of NHL coach salaries with us! 

Here are some quick facts to feed your curiosity right away: 

  • The average NHL coach salary falls somewhere between $2 – $3 million annually. However, this figure can vary depending on factors such as coach’s experience, team success, and negotiation prowess.
  • NHL coaches’ salaries can range significantly. The lower end can be around $1 million, while the upper back can extend beyond $5 million, primarily for top-notch coaches with distinguished track records.
  • In general, rookie coaches can make as little as a few hundred thousand dollars per year, while a seasoned championship-winning coach can command a hefty sum exceeding millions per annum.
  • Salary structures can also include bonuses and incentives for performance milestones, such as making the playoffs, winning the Stanley Cup, or coaching in the All-Star game.
  • The tenure of a coach with a team can also influence their earning potential. Long-term contracts, often spanning multiple years, can lead to higher annual salaries.

Keep reading to know more details about how NHL coach salaries stack up against their counterparts in other sports, who are earning the most in the league, and much more. Trust us, it’s quite a ride!

What’s the lowest-paid NBA player?

An NHL coach’s salary can vary significantly depending on their experience, track record, and the team’s budget. Veteran coaches with a solid track record can command salaries upwards of $2 million to $3 million per year while promising newcomers start much lower. Here’s a brief look: 

  • Top-tier NHL coaches: They earn between $2 million and $4 million per season. These high-rollers include coaches with a considerable amount of experience under their belt, a strong history of team success and plenty of name recognition.
  • Mid-tier NHL coaches: More common are salaries in the region of $1 million to $2 million for intermediate level coaches – these individuals are typically well-respected within the industry, having proven themselves capable but yet to reach the echelon of the elite.
  • Entry-level NHL coaches: Fresh faces to the coaching world, or those with less experience at the NHL level, might earn somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million per year.

Note: Salaries can fluctuate based on a variety of factors such as team performance, league trends, and individual negotiation skills. The numbers above should serve only as a broad guideline.

However, a mere paycheck is not all there is to an NHL coach’s compensation. Many contracts also contain performance bonuses, which reward coaches for achieving specific team goals – like winning the Division, making the playoffs, or even clinching the prestigious Stanley Cup. Additionally, endorsements from various brands can further augment their earnings. 

So there you have it. The world of NHL coaching certainly packs plenty of punch in the financial regard. And while the path to becoming a top-tier coach is undoubtedly challenging, for those who do manage to reach the top, the reward, as you can see, is pretty well-fitting.

Frequently Ask Question 

Q: Is the coaching profession in the NHL lucrative compared to other fields? 

A: Yes, NHL coaches often earn significant salaries, placing them among the top earners in the coaching profession across various sports. The specific figures vary and depend on several factors, including the coach’s experience, the club’s financial capacity, and the reputation or success rate of the team. 

Q: Do the educational benefits apply to NHL coaches? 

A: Generally, certain benefits, like free education for children, are more common in college sports for coaches at that level. Within the NHL, the perks and compensation packages vary across different teams and contracts. Typically, though, NHL coaches can enjoy other benefits like health insurance and retirement plans, among others. 

Q: How does a coach’s salary affect trades and transfers in the NHL? 

A: It’s crucial to note that coaches, unlike players, aren’t typically part of the trade considerations on NHL trade deadline day. However, a coach’s salary can influence decision-making when it comes to hiring and renewals, with clubs weighing the cost of a coach’s contract against their perceived worth and effectiveness. 

Q: Is the NHL a suitable industry for fresh graduates seeking employment? 

A: Absolutely! Similar to Kyle Muallem’s experience, the NHL, and the sports industry at large, offers a diverse range of job opportunities that are not just limited to coaching. Graduates with a passion for sports can find rewarding careers in areas like sports management, physiotherapy, sports journalism, and more. 

Q: What are the less glamorous aspects of being a coach in the NHL? 

A: Coaching in the NHL is no easy task, requiring long hours, extensive travel, and the pressure of maintaining a team’s performance. Unlike players, coaches don’t typically clock out. 

Final Thought

Well, Hope we understand that “How Much Do NHL Coaches Make”. Penetrating the salary veil of the NHL coaching world isn’t the most straightforward task, but we hope we’ve managed to shed some light on the matter. Sure, the figures we’ve gathered might have your eyes boggling and jaw-dropping, but bear in mind these professions aren’t devoid of high stakes. NHL coaches face immense pressure and high expectations. In fact, the average tenure of a coach in this dynamic industry is just under two and a half years—a testament to the turnover rates. 

Before your dreams get clouded with dollar signs, let’s not forget about the long and grueling journey these professionals have had to undertake to reach their current status. Landing a position in the NHL, similar to the testimonies of our ZipRecruiter fans like Ryan Gordon and Kyle Muallem, often requires persistence, dedication, and resilience. It’s not always about the salary, but finding fulfilment and passion in what you do. 

Until then, keep dreaming and working hard, and never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. Who knows? One day, it might just be your name that the world will be googling to know ‘how much does that NHL coach make?’

About the author


Hey hockey fans, lace up your skates and get ready for a face-off with yours truly, Freddy Scheerer! As a hockey player with a passion for the game, I’m here to share my knowledge, experiences, and love for all things hockey. So join me as we explore the exciting world of hockey! Get ready for drills, discussions, and a whole lot of hockey love. Let’s drop the puck and get this blog started!

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